Thailand’s health minister said on Monday (Jan 17) that the country is considering bringing back a quarantine waiver for vaccinated visitors as part of a proposed relaxing of some COVID-19 measures later this week.
Thailand reopened to vaccinated foreign visitors in November to aid a crucial tourism economy that had nearly collapsed due to tight entry regulations that had been in place for nearly 18 months. Last year, it received roughly 200,000 visitors, compared to nearly 40 million in 2019.
Due to worries about the spread of the Omicron coronavirus strain, the “Test and Go” policy, which allows visitors to escape the necessary quarantine if they test negative upon arrival, was halted late in December.
Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told Reuters, “We will propose steps that can be done safely and are medically sound.”
The quarantine waiver, if accepted, may begin on February 1st, he said.
On Monday, Thailand reported 6,929 new COVID-19 infections and 13 deaths. In total, more than 2.3 million people have been infected, with 22,000 people dying.